Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Little Update

Well, I'm really terrible at keeping up on a blog, probably due to my hideous lack of time sense. So let's have a run down of what video game related stuff I've been doing as of late.

Tried Dawntide, liked a lot of what they wanted to do, but there were so few people in the game after a while because of how long it's taking them to make everything work right. There's some ambitious stuff in there, so I'm not surprised that it's taking a while, but any game gets boring without people, no matter how good it is. I'll look in on it again every few months to see if it's worth going back to, since it's really the only MMO that's sparked my Lovely's interest in a while.

As Dawntide was panning out for us, I ended up going back to EQ2 for a bit with my fiance, but in the end it wasn't really holding our attention well due to being stuck with one big game of catching up to do raid content and having trouble finding an RP guild we liked that fit both our characters. Plus, I ended up having a horrible falling out with someone who has basically had this pattern of drawing me into really engaging RP, with great ideas...and then just tossing me aside when someone new comes along and catches her attention; it happened in multiple ways, across multiple games, and I really felt like I was being taken for granite. Unfortunately, the way things went down lead me to really not feeling all that enthused about EQ2 anymore.

My Lovely hasn't been up for much video gaming as of late, so after Dawntide sort of faded out from us, we stopped being able to do much together - she doesn't have all the subscription based games that my fiance and I do, and hasn't had the time/money to get them without being sure she'll like them. Totally understandable to me, since I myself won't play a game I can't beta test or trial first.

So the fiance and I had a brief stint in City of Heroes/Villains. I love the Architect system, and wish more games would do something like it, especially the upcoming White Wolf OWoD MMO and SW: TOR. Even with the nifty options and additions they've made, both of us have had a really hard time getting back into it. I'm debating on whether or not I'm going to reactivate my account, since it lapsed with how weird my CA payouts have been due to the holidays.

Earlier this month, a friend of mine gave me a Buddy Pass for FFXIV, which was part of the Collector's Edition special. Basically, it lets the friend of the CE purchaser try the game for a month, then gives them the option to just flat out subscribe to it - no paying for a digital download or retail copy of the game. Being rather poor while waiting on my disability case, I called it a win. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, SE's made the game subscription free for now due to disliking how the game turned out; eventually it will be subscription based again, but SE refuses to make it so until it's as shiny as all the other recent and good FF titles.

On top of that, I've got a VIP pass to the Rift: Planes of Telara beta. It's still a largely closed beta, so I can't exactly say much about it, but so far I've really liked what I'm seeing. There are still some glitches and bugs, and some things that are missing, but it's the start of closed betas so I'm not all that concerned yet. Plus, I trust Scott Hartsman after watching him save the EverQuest: Shadows of Luclin release fiasco. >.>

I've realised that there are a lot of little, almost silly things that I end up liking in games. In FFXIV, it's the realistic animations (you actually stop running the way you would in RL), the fact that all the clothing items are visible AND resize properly, and the lighting dynamics - when I walk into a building, it's darker and slowly lightens up as the character's eyes adjust while there is a very bright almost blinding light as I step out of a building during the day, that goes away as the character's eyes adjust. They're little, non-mechanical things that are just super awesome in my book. Rift has a few too, but I can't exactly say much about them yet...

In mid-January, I'll be starting college again, this time in a specific game art and design course. As much as I think a flat Animation degree would give me more options, it also requires a lot of hand drawing...which I can't do easily because of the rheumatoid arthritis. With this course, everything is done in 3dsMAX or a graphics editing program like Photoshop. Good thing is that most of my credits are going to transfer once I take care of a bill with AIO, and there's like 60 credits lying around from it.

Best of all, I don't have to pay a damn thing right yet. I got all but 400.00 in grants, and then financed through the college itself for about the same rate as what a student loan would be. Plus, Westwood's student store has the option to "bill student account", which takes the money from that pool instead of having to pay it then get reimbursed. Definitely picking up a copy of Windows 7 since it's like 30.00 for students! I know that they'll have a version of 3dsMAX up, but I'm not sure if they'll have the entire Adobe Master Suite, or just the Creative Suite.

Not going to ditch out on my copy of Poser any time soon though, as I don't think I have any classes that will use the 3dsMAX till later in the academic year, if at all before the summer. We'll see though.

For now though, I'm basically playing the Rift beta while the fiance's at work or asleep, whenever there's a window open for it and then playing FFXIV when he's home, since he got a Buddy Pass too. Kinda wish I could get one for my Lovely, but it's not really her style of game and she doesn't really have the time for it right now. =/

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holy Cow

So for my birthday, my friend Seth gave me a buddy key for Final Fantasy XIV; for those who don't know, the buddy key gives 30 days free to the person and they don't have to buy the game themselves - they just have to subscribe to the game.

Well, since launch, everyone's been getting time for free because the game was not as shiny as it should of been. Square-Enix just took that a step further, and continues to do something that's just unheard of in the subscription based MMO world: giving more months of free time. We all figure it's going to be at least one more month but it may be more than that.

On top of being so liberal with money (which is what that is), they have changed up the team, bringing some big names from FFXIVFFIX, FFX, and FFXI to the board. Here's the e-mail they s
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of FINAL FANTASY XIV.

While more than two months have passed since the official launch of FINAL FANTASY XIV service, we deeply regret that the game has yet to achieve the level of enjoyability that FINAL FANTASY fans have come to expect from the franchise, and for this we offer our sincerest of apologies.

After thorough deliberation on how to meet those expectations, it was decided that the most viable step was to approach improvements under new leadership and with a restructured team.

To realize this vision, and in doing so, provide our customers with a better game experience, we have assembled our company’s top talent and resources. Taking over the role of producer and director is Naoki Yoshida, a passionate individual for whom customer satisfaction has always taken top priority. Not only is he one of our Group’s most accomplished and experienced members, Naoki Yoshida is also a charismatic leader possessing the skill to bring together and effectively helm a team which encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. We also welcome several new leaders handpicked from other projects to work with the existing talent on FINAL FANTASY XIV.

We realize time is of the essence and are fully determined to provide our customers with quality service. It is because of this that we ask our customers to be patient until we are able to confidently present them with a concrete plan outlining FINAL FANTASY XIV’s new direction. The free trial period will be extended until that time.

Regarding the PlayStation 3, it is not our wish to release a simple conversion of the Windows version in its current state, but rather an update that includes all the improvements we have planned. For that reason, we have made the difficult decision to delay the release of the PlayStation 3 version beyond the originally announced date of March 2011.

The FINAL FANTASY XIV team is working hard to bring our customers an unparalleled adventure, and we ask for your continued understanding and support as we march ever diligently towards that goal.

President and CEO, Yoichi Wada
The development and management teams would like to make an announcement regarding personnel changes.

[Organizational Changes to the Development Team]
To improve the service of FINAL FANTASY XIV, Square Enix has made the following changes to the development team:

Managerial Changes

Naoki Yoshida

Section Leader Changes

Assistant Director
Shintaro Tamai (FINAL FANTASY X, Front Mission 5: Scars of the War)

Lead Game Designer

Lead Combat System Designer
Akihiko Matsui (FINAL FANTASY XI)

Technical Advisor
Yoshihisa Hashimoto (Next Generation Game Engine Development)

Lead Programmer

Senior Concept Artist
Akihiko Yoshida (FINAL FANTASY XII, Vagrant Story)

Lead Artist

Lead UI Designer/Lead Web Designer
Hiroshi Minagawa (FINAL FANTASY XII, Vagrant Story)

These members will make up the development team’s new core—a core dedicated to ensuring we achieve a level of enjoyability that will more than satisfy our customers. Under a schedule of more frequent version updates, the new leaders and their respective sections will strive for continued improvements to FINAL FANTASY XIV service operation and development.

[Extension of the Free Trial Period]
As stated above, the newly restructured team’s top priority is to bring about improvements to the game’s enjoyability, and therefore we have decided to extend the free trial period until we can provide a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment that will satisfy both us and our customers. When we are confident that we have reached that goal, we will notify our customers immediately.

[Future Version Updates]
At present, the development team is putting the finishing touches on the previously announced version update, which is still slated for release in mid-December. In addition, there is one more version update scheduled for release before year’s end. Details on the content and dates of these updates will be released in the near future.

[Delay of the PlayStation 3 Version Release]
Although the release date for the PlayStation 3 version of the game was previously announced as late March of 2011, we regret to inform that this date has been changed.

The PlayStation 3 release will be delayed until we are confident that the game has reached the level of enjoyability and service befitting the FINAL FANTASY name for users on all supported platforms. We offer our sincerest apologies to any fans anticipating the PlayStation 3 release, and humbly ask for your continued patience and understanding as both the development team and Square Enix as a whole strive towards making FINAL FANTASY XIV a truly enjoyable and unforgettable adventure.

[New Development Team Policy]
I would like to take this opportunity to greet all of you—those currently playing FINAL FANTASY XIV, those who have taken a respite from playing, and those awaiting the PlayStation 3 release—and offer a brief word by way of an introduction.

No doubt there are very few, if any, among you who have ever heard the name Naoki Yoshida. To be sure, I have never been in the fore on any of the titles I have worked on in the past. I am, however, honored and privileged to work alongside many talented and inspiring colleagues, and with their support have enjoyed making games for a number of years. I am aware that a great many people will think the responsibility of leading FINAL FANTASY XIV is far too large a task for someone so unknown. After all, even my very best may seem no more than a drop in the bucket when considering the sheer scope of FINAL FANTASY XIV. But working together with me are the very talented and very capable development and management teams, whose dedication and motivation are unwavering. I would like to ask you to please put to rest uncertainties that you may have.

Now, more than ever, myself, the development team, and Square Enix as a whole, are committed to furthering our efforts to provide a quality service.

Everything we do will be for our players and customers.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer/Director, Naoki Yoshida
First of all, I would like to apologize for our inability to fully satisfy our users with the initial release of FINAL FANTASY XIV. I take full responsibility for the game’s current situation, and have therefore made the decision to step down from my role as producer. A number of concerns that have been voiced by users, such as the design of the user interface, availability of tutorials and game content, and battle system functionality, represent key issues that must be addressed. While improvements are already well underway in many areas, we were unfortunately not able to incorporate player feedback as quickly as we would have liked. We are aware, however, that in many cases, addressing these issues will call for a reworking of game elements. As these changes are our first priority, they will be commanding our full attention and efforts. It is to that end that we have put a new organizational structure into place for the development team. Under this new system, FINAL FANTASY XIV will see changes and additions in line with the desires and expectations of players. Though no longer producer, I will be continuing to support the development team in other capacities, and personally hope that you will continue your adventures in the realm of Eorzea.

Hiromichi Tanaka
I cannot recall any other company in the MMO industry doing anything like this. I wonder if Star Wars: Galaxies would have survived longer if SOE had done this sort of thing, though the early release forced by LucasArts was a bit more daunting than FFXIV's current task, I think.

So far, I'm enjoying the game. It is a lot more polished than it was at launch, though still kinda lacking in quest based content. I love the class system and the whole linkshell idea (you can basically be in multiple guilds), and I love that any character can wear anything but the items favour specific classes more than others. And...I love the fact that you actually stop realistically rather than suddenly coming to full halt.

We'll see how it goes...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Google, China & Haiti

This is not going to be about gaming. Sometimes, it's a bit more important to post stuff like this rather than what all has been going on in AION and keeping me from updating this regularly. Real life > gaming, with stuff like this. This is being cross-posted from my personal blog, hence the mention of shitty things in my personal life.

You know, a lot of bad shit has happened in my life since I last updated this journal, some of which has gone down in the last 36 or so hours. I could rant about it, take all the sorting out I've done in my head and put it down here, but I realize that about 95% of it is trivial shit compared to what else is going on in the world this week.

Let's start with Google and China, and how the globe needs to unite.

Call me a radical, but I agree with
France - we need to define some basic rights to the internet and information technology that all humans should be allowed. The ability to use the internet is not just a convenience in France, it's a basic human right now. With how digitized our world is getting, more countries need to look into this sort of thing, as does the UN; some information that is found online is not found on printed media and will not be found on such unless someone prints it off on their own printers. Granted, I don't think the way France set up their laws on it were perfect, and they need to have some tweaking done to them, but the bottom line is that people should be allowed to have mostly unfettered access to the internet (I say mostly because I'm against children being able to look up porn, for example).

I've been vaguely aware of the fact that Google has been following the demands of the Chinese government in regards to what their version of the search engine can find and have accessible to Chinese citizens. I never really found it right, but I was one of those people who thought that it was better that there be some access to the powerhouse that is Google's search engine rather than there being none. However, as time's passed and more information has come to light about it, I was less and less okay with it.

Then this week happened.

China basically has been trying to use Google to track down activists who disagree - 99% of the time, peacefully - with their government so they can arrest them, paint them as treasonous bastards and then execute them to scare their citizens into behaving?




I really don't care whether it soley was a human rights decision, a combination of HR and business, or a purely business standpoint - I'm glad
Google said the same thing, and essentially made a bold move that told those Chinese sons-of-a-bitches to shove their bullshit back up their asses (note: I mean their government, not the people in general <3 Jimmy Chi!). It doesn't take a business or social analyst to know that China is going to look at they're "Hey, by the way, that censoring thing? HELL NO!" move and not agree with it, because their entire regime would crumble pretty damn fast with free information flowing into the country.

However, just booting them out of the country isn't going to make things better for China, as it's probably going to draw attention to the fact that there is that much censoring going on, and with as many people who use in the country, they may end up with a social problem on their hands that their internet spin doctors might not be able to contain. Which is, in the end, a bonus - there's socialism and Communism, and China's on the wrong side of the fence. They really need to get up with the times in regard to humanity and what it means to lead people rather than just scaring or brainwashing them into compliance.

This issue has the potential to not only draw attention to the bad practices that come with dealing with China, but it may help in blowing open the whole rights of the internet issue at large.

The second thing going on this week that makes anything that happened here in PA seem trivial is the ginormous earthquake that hit Haiti. Unless you live under a rock, you can't not have heard about this - given that I pay very little attention to the news and I'm aware of it, that leaves no excuses.

Since the earthquake hit, my mother's been updating me on a friend of the family's situation: Tia, a woman who was once my babysitter and is amazing with kids, was in the process of adopting a little boy from Haiti. Rather than lamenting not having a kid, she had the spine to say "You know what, it my not have my genetics, but an adopted child is worth just as much as one I might give birth too", which is a huge thing to me considering I've had boyfriends break up with me because they found out I really cannot have children.

Unfortunately, she's been unable to contact anyone from the orphanage, which was relatively close to the palace in Port-au-Prince. The palace and most of the surrounding buildings are flattened, and seeing the first images of that had to be rough on her.

After watching movies tonight, I wanted a distraction, and decided to look up something more about this - a lame attempt at helping as it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. But as I read more and more articles, the more and more I was horrified and amazed.

Preval said he himself had not been spared. "I cannot live in the palace; I cannot live in my own house," he said. "The two collapsed." He added that he did not know where he was going to sleep Wednesday night, but was not worried. "I have plenty of time to look for a bed," he said late in the afternoon. "But now I am working on how to rescue the people. Sleeping is not the problem." -
Haiti president says estimates put quake death toll in thousands,

That, ladies and gentlemen, is one hell of a president. The man doesn't have someplace to sleep, his home is destroyed, and he could have easily gotten away with arranging shelter for himself and just overseeing this from afar, but instead he's not even worrying about himself - he's worrying about his people who are trapped in the rubble. That right there made me wonder whether any of our Presidents would get that down and dirty in a nation wide crisis...sadly, I doubt few of them would do so, and even fewer would truly mean it.

Amid my digging, I was pretty shocked to find that
"Heroes" star Jimmy Jean-Louis had started an organization to help out underprivileged kids in Haiti, where he's originally from (hence him playing the Haitian on the show, obviously). The focus of that organization has temporarily changed, having mobilized to help out with the disaster. Jean-Louis drew attention to something I don't think people really are going to think of immediately, and my misinterpret unless they actually stop to think about it: sending items to Haiti at this point is a bad idea, even if you're filtering them through an organization like this or the Red Cross. There's going to be such difficulty getting them to Haiti and through the area right now that the best thing that can be done is monetary donation; these donations can be put towards major things that are going to be more easily transported like medicine, something that the country is dangerously low on with the number of hospitals ruined vs. the number of patients that they have. Medicine and clean water are probably the two most important things we need to get to them, with food coming up in a close second.

And yes, I know he's looking for his own family amid the mess, but he's only human. You can't fault him for that.

Mom found a little site that helps you put a
Haitian flag on your Facebook profile picture to show your support for the disaster relief. Yeah, it's not a whole lot, but not everyone can spare cash or items right now, or even know who to get them to. And it does give some comfort to people outside of Haiti who use Facebook, because it lets them know that other people care too.

The orphanage that Tia was going through has a
Facebook page. If you can, please go there and fan the page to show your support. They're having difficulty contacting anyone inside the country, for obvious reasons, and all updates they have are being posted here as well. There is also a link and instructions on how to donate directly to the orphanage; there are way to many children that got hurt or killed between the two orphanages that went down, so it's unclear whether or not her son-to-be was one of them. I rarely ask people to do something involving faith, but if you can, please pray to whatever God you worship or send out the good vibes into the universe and ask that as few kids as possible were killed, and that hopefully Tia's son survived - and that those who did survive will continue to live, since water is so scarce right now.

My friend Alicia posted this as a status earlier: Text the word Haiti to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. Text the word Yele to 501501 to donate $5 to the earthquake fund. The average Haitian lives on $60 a month, your money will go a long way. Will you please donate? You'll probably hardly even notice it on your cell phone bill. 100% of your donation goes through- cell carrier keeps nothing.

Yes, this is applied to your phone bill. If I weren't on someone else's plan, I'd have done a text in to both.

I know a lot of people freak out over Americans donating money to emergency funds like this when we have so many problems here in the States; many people who do don't even bother making donations to American humanitarian organizations, so they really don't have room to talk in the first place. The down and dirty of it is that with this situation, people will die a lot faster and in a lot greater numbers without help from larger nations and their citizens, and it's the right thing to do. Maybe it's just because I find the whole lack of helping each other when political, social or geographical bounds thing to be rather stupid...shit like this is not the kind of thing you ignore, nor is it something you degrade just because you don't feel like giving up an MMO or a couple of movie nights for a month. I'm horridly poor right now due to waiting on disability, and I'm giving donations so these people can live.

Which is saying a lot given most of the time I'm pissed off at the way humanity as a whole acts. >.>

Anyways, these two things made me realise that as much as the last 36ish hours of my life have kinda sucked and got me questioning life and people, there's a lot more going on out there that takes precedence over it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

[World of Warcraft] Azeroth Aids Police!

Criminals can run, but they can't hide. Especially if they play World of Warcraft.

Just ask Alfred Hightower. Having successfully left the country to avoid being nabbed for dealing drugs, the fugitive figured he was home free. But thanks to his insistence on keeping up with his World of Warcraft habit, Hightower was tracked down by authorities and is now in custody, reports The Kokomo Perspective.

The saga begins in 2007, when Indiana's Howard County Sheriff's Department issued a warrant for Hightower's arrest on charges of dealing in multiple controlled substances. U.S. Marshals were unable to locate the suspect, although a tip placed him in Canada.

According to Howard County deputy Matt Roberson, authorities came upon the Warcraft connection during their investigation into Hightower's background.

“We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game,” he told The Perspective. “None of that information was sound enough to pursue on its own, but putting everything we had together gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment. I knew exactly what he was playing — World of Warcraft. I used to play it. It’s one of the largest online games in the world.”

Blizzard played ball, giving up Hightower's account history, IP address, screen name, billing address and preferred game server. One Google Earth search later, and Canadian authorities had apprehended Hightower in Ottowa, Ontario.

“You hear stories about you can’t get someone through the Internet,” said Roberson. “Guess what??You can. I just did. Here you are, playing World of Warcraft, and you never know who you’re playing with.”

Warcraft is just the latest ally in gaming's war against crime. Several weeks ago, police tracked down a New York thief by tracing his online gaming on a stolen Xbox. Federal officials have even begun using Sony's Playstation 3 to crack passwords used by child pornographers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

[White Wolf] Woah...The Camarilla Returning to Non-Direct White Wolf Control Status?

From White Wolf's The Future of White Wolf announcement/ICC summary:

For the Camarilla specifically:
No more pyramid. We’ve drifted a bit away from you all and have come to realize what a really horrible mistake it was to let that happen. We want to reintroduce ourselves as people, individuals even, who care about what you decide to do with our games, because we truly do. There has just been too much bureaucracy and it needs to end. We’ll keep liaisons on staff here, but this is less about us selling you books and more about you enjoying them.

But how? We’re giving the reigns back to you. You will remain the official World of Darkness fan club, but we’re not going to tell you which of our games to LARP or how to do it. Some of you will undoubtedly return to the Old World of Darkness. That is awesome.

What’s next? A lot of introspection and elbow grease. We urge you to take the coming months to really audit the entire Camarilla structure. How much of the original roots will you salvage? How will you balance the dynamic between old, new and future members? Do there need to be structural changes, rules changes or even cultural changes to reflect the new Camarilla going forward? What is the Cam to you and how would you have it run ideally? This is the perfect opportunity to reforge the Camarilla.

Why change? We want this to be just plain fun again, like the ICC itself. No barriers in the way of your expression in the World of Darkness. Tools to help you organize yourselves, find eachother, and regain that sense of creeping, suspenseful dread together. Bear with us and help guide us, as this is going to be an open dialogue.

It sounds like they're going to allow the Camarilla to go back to what it was before their rather forceful takeover years ago. I'm currently fighting with YouTube to watch the full closing ceremony address from ICC, but it's not really letting me watch it for long before it goes into an endless buffer loop. (Currently, it won't play at all for longer than a minute and a half on any of the clips...)

While I largely got out of the Camarilla after returning to Salt Lake from San Diego, the fiascoes I heard about during the crossing into being controlled directly by White Wolf completely turned me away from renewing my membership/rejoining the Camarilla. I'd kept an active membership while in San Diego, but let it lapse as I returned to Salt Lake since I wasn't too thrilled with the whole "end of the World of Darkness" turn that things had started taking. Don't get me wrong, the Final Nights brought the coolest thing to happen to the World of Darkness since Mage was released (Demon: the Fallen), however, I think it all ended up getting a bit too rushed, and too much change occurred in too short of a time for it to be enjoyable.

I don't much like any of the new World of Darkness settings, though a lot of their new system are good; I really only like the Changeling revamp so far, though the new Geist series is kinda appealing since I really enjoyed the Risen suppliment. While I'd play a Changeling game, I haven't really had any real desire to do the rest. If even if only part of it returns to the Old WoD setting, I'd consider going back.

Curse YouTube. I can't get any more information from ICC because of it's failing. =(

[World of Darkness MMO] ZOMG, It's a Sekrit!

So like, I stumbled upon documentation that proves White Wolf and Crowd Control Productions are working on a World of Darkness MMO, and quite possibly have been since even before their merger in January. However, beyond the original merger documentation and a small statement on CCP's website, I've found jack squat more about the game aside from the fact they're still hiring people for it.

As far as the merger document is concerned, a WoD MMO title was part of the commodities that were acquired in the merger. You can search for MMO or World of Darkness to find the scant details that are listed there.

World of Darkness Developed in Georgia
CCP North America is located just outside of Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia. White Wolf Publishing, which merged with CCP in November 2006, has been headquartered in the Atlanta area since 1991 and has been a leader in the gaming industry ever since. Its flagship property, the World of Darkness, has a rich history of over 18 years of creative development and is now the basis of one of CCP's major virtual world projects. Currently in preproduction, The World of Darkness is the undying heart of the development efforts in CCP's North American office.

Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Economic Development have helped provide CCP with an invaluable strategic foothold in North America. Our Atlanta office serves as an integral component of CCP's international business, allowing for extreme flexibility in adjusting business practices and structures to quickly react to industry trends in order to stay at the forefront of technology and innovation. The Atlanta office houses leadership and support for every aspect of each of CCP's major initiatives, from finance to art direction and from marketing to game design.

The support networks for innovation in Georgia are both substantial and progressive, making Atlanta the perfect home for a virtual world project based on leading technology and unique game design. In March 2009, CCP was named one of the top 10 technology companies in the state by the Technology Association of Georgia. In addition to the fertile business environment, Georgia is filled with many qualified tech professionals, some of whom have joined CCP's growing team. The professional pool remains strong in the area year after year thanks to an abundance of quality local universities who draw top students from around the world. Atlanta has also proven to be a desirable place to relocate for many of new hires filling the over 100 open positions in CCP's global company due to its relatively low cost of living, pleasant weather and metropolitan charm. Those interested in joining CCP's efforts in Atlanta should visit the CCP job website.
That is the statement that is located on the sparse World of Darkness page on CCP's website. I couldn't find anything about it on the White Wolf site. I can't find anything solid on any spoiler sites, however there's chatter about it amid the insiders of the industry since Ryan Dancey became CMO of CCP and physically moved to join them.

Beyond's the best kept secret of the MMO industry at the moment, and perhaps in the longest time.

My friends and I have already discussed it. If they do it right, all other MMOs will fall to the wayside for us. White Wolf is what we played when we were teenagers, it's what we were doing to bond beyond the scene of the dance club we all went to. It was more enjoyable than D&D, it was less of a headache than Palladium, it was our favourite RPG. We've since all moved into the MMO world, and the combination of the two is like a dream for us.

The suspense, it's killing us. XD

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Aion Community Address

(Original Article)

It’s been a month now since Aion opened its doors to players in North America and Europe. In that month, the growth of the game's community has signaled Aion's success. We've received an amazing amount of feedback, both positive and negative. We'd like to reiterate that we've been listening. We have been working around the clock toward solutions to the problems many of you have experienced.

You've told us that it's difficult to advance within certain level ranges. To address this issue, we're planning to raise quest experience, in addition to reevaluating the experience rewards characters gain for individual kills. We understand how frustrating it can be to repetitively kill enemies. Our goal is to limit the need to mindlessly "grind."

In this week's Eye on Community, we answered a question that a player had about client instability. In the reply, we noted that most of the claims stem from the infamous "Crysystem.dll error." We've been working with members of the community to identify the cause of the problem in order to find a permanent solution. Our development team is currently investigating, and will be testing a variety of different short- and long-term solutions. These include adding additional and improved display options to the Aion client, as well as system and memory optimizations.

We've heard your unhappiness about the chat spam and bots in Aion and recognize it as an annoying problem. We’ve taken measures to reduce the amount of chat spam you’ll be subjected to and have already seen substantial improvements in this area. We've been expanding our GM customer service staff, and we have also assembled a special team dedicated to hunting down and eliminating botting operations. It's obvious these activities erode your gameplay experience far too much to be acceptable. They also harm us from a business standpoint due to the RMT organizations' frequent use of stolen credit cards.

Many of you have asked us why we haven't spent more time communicating the specifics of our plans. The unfortunate truth is that the same people spamming chat channels and setting up bots are also reading our announcements. In order to keep the enemy in the dark, we cannot be too vocal about our plans to fight back.

We want you to know, though, that we're more dedicated than ever to eliminate chat spam and the use of bots. The good news is that you can help. If you see any suspicious player activity, report it. To quickly report these players, use the /AutoReportHunting feature by typing /AutoReportHunting while a suspicious character is targeted. It's important to note that this system will actually begin to penalize players after they've been reported multiple times. The more of you that use this system—the more effective it will become.

To add more specificity to what we're discussing here, early next week we're going to be releasing details about a game update that will go into further detail about how we’ll be fixing some of these issues, in addition to others.

It’s been an exciting month, and the future of Aion is full of promise. Please continue to send us your feedback and never forget that patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

-The Aion Community Team